Everything you need to know about SPF

SPF, Sunscreen, Sunblock, Suncream whatever it is you like to call it. We all know what it is but, do you know how important it is?

This time of year people are really looking for information on sunscreen. There is such a huge rang out there and it can be confusing.


Did you know? In Ireland skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and in the world we rate number 14 on the highest rates of skin cancer.


It’s not that our little country is extremely exposed to more sun rays, but it is more to do with the fact that we as a nation are not great for wearing it when we need to. (Which by the way is every single day.)


From a science perspective, the sun’s rays are UV aka ultraviolet radiation. There are two different types UVA and UVB. UVA is the longer sun rays that can penetrate deep into our skin. It is the rays that cause aging! It causes that long term permanent damage!


UVB are the shorter sun rays and they cause sunburn.


There are two types of sunblock available, Chemical sunblock and Mineral sunblock. The chemical kind are widely available and will be your ‘name brands’ that you see heavily advertised. These ones have a plethora chemical listed on the bottle.


Let’s not forget, our skin is our biggest organ. It is absorbing everything that is applied topically onto the skin.


Chemical are being absorbed into our skin. These chemicals take the sun rays turn them into heat and release them from the body. Most contain a chemical called ‘oxybenzone’ which is actually banned in many countries. There has been links with hormone distributers in the body and even causing Endometriosis for some women. Which is why it is a big NO NO for me. These chemical sunscreens are also causing a lot of coral reef disruption and fish pollution when wearing it and then showering off it or in the ocean it is going into the water stream which is ruining the colours in the coral reef and even killing the plants.


The mineral sunblock sit on your skin and act like a barrier against the suns rays. They reflect the UVA and UVB rays away from the body. They are not absorbed into the body. They may be a little more pastey looking on the skin but there are an array of options out there now. In your local health food shop.


The green People, moogoo and childs farm all do great mineral sunblock. The skin nerd also does a great product called the ‘sun shield’.


The biggest advice I can give you is to research it. The company with the bigger marketing budget or fancier bottle may not be the best option for your skin. Do they best you can with the knowledge you have and most importantly whatever type or brand you chose, remember to wear it!!